8 Ways To Cruise Solo Better and Cheaper

8 Ways To Cruise Solo Better and Cheaper


How can you travel as a solo traveller cheaper, better and on
the best cruise lines? Hi, I’m Gary Bembridge, this is another of my Tips For Travellers. I often cruise solo, and
I have learned a whole lot of tips and tricks
about how to cruise solo that I want to share with you right now, starting with this one. I often get asked, what
are the best cruise lines to go on as a solo traveller? Well, there’s a couple of buckets that I think you should look at. First of all, what I think
are the absolute best cruise lines for solo travellers. Well, the absolute best are
probably two cruise lines, one of which is the Norwegian Cruise Line. Norwegian Cruise Line
on their bigger ships and their newer ships, have created a whole solo traveller area. Now, these are all inside cabins, so if you’re not keen on inside cabins this may not be for you. But they have a whole
area, it’s card protected so only solo travellers with
a card can get into the area. You have all these
individual studio cabins, and then they have a lounge,
where you have a seating area, You have tea, coffee, snacks,
they often have whiteboards and boards where you
can start to post things to find people to go on excursions. So Norwegian are really focusing on the solo traveller, big time. The other cruise line that looks after solo travellers phenomenally well, is really catering for
the 50 plus travellers. So Saga Cruises, their new
ships Saga Spirit of Adventure, Saga Spirit of Discovery, they have 20%, 109 cabins on-board are solo cabins. All of the cabins have a balcony, and you can get various grades. You can even get up to a
suite as a solo cruiser. Also on board, they have specific
events for solo travellers. So for example, they have cocktail parties for solo travellers, and
they have a meetup everyday, normally in the morning or afternoon when the ship is in port. So solo travellers can get
together and decide to go off and do excursions together
or explore together. So those are probably
the two absolute best cruise lines for solo travellers, because they really focus on it. Then there’s a second bucket
which are cruise lines which are catering for solo travellers by having solo traveller cabins. Most of the major cruise
lines now have solo cabins on their newer ships. One big exception certainly
at the time of recording is the biggest cruise line in the world which is Carnival Cruises, currently don’t have solo
cabins on their ships. And they have about 40 to
50% of all cruise passengers go on a Carnival ship during the year, so they’re a really
big one not to have it. But all the other lines
do, so even Cunard, on their entire fleet have
introduced solo cabins. Royal Caribbean have it, Holland
America on their new ships have solo cabins. You’ll find many of the big
cruise lines have solo cabins. The other big exception alongside Carnival is Princess Cruises, they
are the fourth biggest cruise line in the world
based on passengers. And they don’t have solo cabins either. MSC Cruises which is the
fifth biggest cruise line in the world, on their big new ships they also have solo cabins. So you’ll find that a lot
of the big cruise lines do have solo cabins,
although as you’ve seen, not all of them. The third bucket of
those, are cruise lines that don’t have solo cabins but do welcome solo travellers on board. So for example, I’ve been a
couple of the ultra-luxury lines on different cruises, where
they haven’t had solo cabins, but what they have done on
certain cruises during the year, is they’ve offered dramatic discounts where you only pay perhaps
10% or up to 25% surcharge. So I’ve been on Silversea,
I have been on Seabourn. And I’ve been on Ponant,
where they do offer those really small premium discounts. So that’s the third bucket, is cruise lines that
don’t have specific cabins catering for you, but they
do have big discounts. So those are the best cruise
lines as a solo traveller if you want to go cruising. My second tip around how solo
travellers can travel cheaper and better and on the best cruise lines, is to work with a travel
company that really focuses on the solo traveller. And in the cruise area there are two that I always take a look at. One of which is more catering
probably to the U.S. market, and that’s Vacations To Go. They have a whole section
focusing on solo travellers. What they do is they run
a whole series of cruises both on existing cruises
or very specific cruises. But what they do is they guarantee that you will pay the lowest price. And they will try and match
you with other solo travellers, often to share a cabin if possible. But they are a great place to look at if you’re looking for solo cruises, because they know all the best
deals at any particular time. In the UK, there’s a
company called ROL Cruises, and they also have a real
big focus on solo travellers. Of course, many other travel companies do have a focus on the solo traveller, because they are growing,
and cruising’s growing, but that’s the second big tip is work with a travel company
that focuses on cruising for the solo traveller. My third tip of course, is to
then signup for newsletters for different blogs and sites that look at solo
travelling more generally. There’s a couple of really
good blogs for example. Solotravelerblog.com,
singlestravelintl.com. Solosholidays.co.uk. My fourth tip as a solo
traveller and this is one that I really like to focus on
if I am travelling by myself, and that’s to go on smaller
ships not bigger ships. The reason for that is, smaller ships you have
greater chance to meet people, get to know people, people are
more likely to talk to you. So it’s a bit like being in a
small town versus a big city. It’s much easier to be integrated. So I always found on smaller ships you don’t get lost in the crowd. And also it’s really important because the excursion’s
a little bit smaller. The events are a little bit smaller, and people just notice you more. They notice you travelling by yourself, and they will start to
engage with you much more. So that’s a big big tip for
me is, look at smaller ships, I think you’ll find it
a massive big difference as a solo traveller. I certainly much prefer solo
travelling on smaller ships. Another really important tip is choose the time of year you cruise. As a solo traveller, I
recommend you look at slightly out of season so just the
beginning of the season, the end of the season. So you’ll find, for example,
sort of March, April time, maybe heading into June a little bit, if you’re looking at the Mediterranean. Or you look at September, October time again in the Mediterranean, and the kind of the
equivalent for the Caribbean. The reason for that, is you’ll find that’s
when the best deals are. So even if you’re going on a cruise line that has a larger surcharge, the prices overall are
not gonna be as great. Also you’re more likely to find that’s when you have deals taking place, because the cruise lines find
it harder to fill the ship. Also you’re probably gonna find
there’s more solo travellers on-board as well for that reason. So looking at the sort of shoulder seasons almost slightly out of season, is really important as a solo traveller for finding the right cruises,
finding the right deals. So for example, I was
talking about earlier on the big ultra-luxury
lines I’ve been on, I’ve always done those
slightly out of season, the beginning or end of the season, because that’s when they
do those big promotions. If you are a solo traveller and
you are looking for company, you like to travel with someone, another thing you could
do is travel partnering. That’s something that doesn’t appeal to me to share a cabin with someone
that I don’t really know. In fact, I don’t even like sharing cabins with people I do know half the time. But there are a whole ways that you can meet travel partners. One of the ways to do that is take a look at some of the cruise sites, because they do have
either forums or areas, where you can actually meet people to go on similar cruises
with and share a cabin. Some of the ones to look at
are like cruisemates.com, cruisetrend.com, silversurfers.com. Cruise mate finder, and meetup.com, which is more relate to
the area you’re living in. They’ll often have a specific
group around solo travellers. So there are ways that you can find people to share a cabin with. I have a whole bunch of
tips around things to do once you’re on-board as a solo traveller. First of those, really really important, is use CruiseCritic, so
go onto CruiseCritic, signup for the roll
call you’ll find there. Also find out if they’re
going to have a meet and greet and mingle session,
those are really great, because you can be talking
to people on your cruise, they will know that
you’re travelling solo. So you can also connect with
them if there’s not a meetup. But a lot of the cruise lines there’s a Cruise Critic meetup, where you can go to that event, you’ll see there’s other solo travellers, you’ll get to know people
and can integrate with them. So that’s a really big big important plus. The second thing is most cruise
lines with solo travellers have meetups, so they’ll have
a meetup at the beginning, often hosted by the cruise
director, not always. And that’s a great chance
for you to understand who else are solo travellers
and then you can then, if you click with them
you can then arrange to do things with them
whether it’s excursions, go to events, go to the
theatre, whatever it is. Thirdly, get involved, go
to the various activities, the events, the quizzes, because that’s a great
way of meeting people. So if there is a little
deck games or quizzes, or anything that’s going
on, go along there, you’ll start talking to people, because people on cruises like to talk. And it’s a great way of
connecting, meeting people and hopefully clicking with people that you’re going to get on with. Another really good thing
to do once you get on-board, is make friends with the cruise director or people in the entertainment team. Now, they will often host
the solo get togethers, but even if they don’t,
if you get to know them, they will also help connect
you with other solo travellers. But also they will keep
an eye out for you, so if you’re coming to an event, they’ll always make sure you can get partnered up or whatever. They are a solo traveller’s best friend. Cruise director and entertainment team. Go on excursions as well,
because that’s a great way of starting to talk to people particularly if they’ve
got the same interests. And I’ve found often
I’ve been on excursions, people just start talking to
you as you’re going around, and I’ve made some really
good friends on-board through going on excursions. Also importantly, is about eating. The hardest thing about a solo traveller is actually the evening meal,
because it’s such a big deal. Couple of things I would recommend, is actually go for anytime dining as opposed to the fixed time dining. The reason for that is when
you go on anytime dining, you’ll arrive there and
say, you want to be seated at a table with other people, that way you get to meet
loads of different people. And again, you might connect with them. If you’re on a fixed dining table, you’re always going to be
with the same people, and so you’re not gonna
get to meet as many people. So anytime dining, ask
to sit with other people is a really big plus, I’ve done
that a lot on solo cruising, I’m not the most sociable
person, and I find that a good way of actually getting to meet
people and talking to them. Solo travelling is
becoming a huge huge trend. And hopefully these tips and things I’ve learned have helped you. I’ve loads more advice and tips
about cruising in my videos. So why don’t you watch another
one of my videos right now.

79 thoughts on “8 Ways To Cruise Solo Better and Cheaper

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience on cruising. I am a solo traveller and this video is really useful. I love watching all your videos. Have a nice day. Cheers, Cindy

  2. "Solo traveling has become a huge trend", because men are no longer willing to be weighed down by women who are only there with selfish motives. And women are simply left without the partners that they used to manipulate into it so easily. If you wouldn't marry her, why would you take her with you on a cruise? Thanks for the good info. Norwegian sounds great!

  3. Going on my second solo cruise in January on Holland America. I just book a guaranteed cabin (I’ve never gotten a bad one) and they usually offer a modest discount (usually 12.5%). Price ends up being reasonable and you get a room meant for two.

  4. Hi Gary, great information as usual
    I was just looking at Ponant Cruises as they have some great cruises coming up next year with No Single Supplement, as least going by their Australian website, now I need to knuckle down and save some money

  5. TYVM! This is the cruise topic I am most interested in.
    BTW, I stayed in a NCL single room on the Bliss. It was fine and hopefully, solo-friendly is the trend. OTOH, I think people give NCL too much credit regarding pricing. E.g., I just checked on Bliss 5/17 AK cruise a single room is 99 sq ft and costs $1,693. An inside room is 135 to 201 sq. ft. and even with 100% SSI costs $1,720 total. I.e., staying in the smaller solo cabin saves you $27 versus paying the two people price in an inside cabin (later in the season the difference is closer to 10%) I like the idea of catering to solo travelers but in my experience, the NCL solo cabins are not quite the cost savings that I originally assumed. YMMV

  6. Hi Gary! I just priced a solo room on NCL Getaway, it was $2800, more than it would be per person for a family mini suite w balcony.. seems like solo cruisers pay more??

  7. Great tips, thanks Gary. I love to cruise solo and really enjoy having the choice about when I am and I’m not social. I don’t do the drinks packages or the fine dining restaurants so am happy to spend a bit more on a cabin.

  8. There is no way I am sharing a cabin with anyone. I need my personal space. I’m not too keen on being stuck in an interior cabin either. I have had success working with a travel agent who specializes in cruising. I just tell her when and where I want to go, and that I am not paying a single supplement. She can usually come up with good deals especially if my dates are flexible. For example, I cruised the Danube on Avalon several years ago,without paying any single supplement. Avalon had a deal for solo cruisers that week and there were at least 30 of us. Ironically, one of the other solo cruisers was a woman who had purchased her cruise through Vacations to Go. She had paid almost double what I had paid!

  9. As a solo traveller I tend to book very early, usually upto 2 years ahead. My last cruise in October was on the P&O Aurora in the cheapest inside cabin. I paid £1598 for 14 nights to the Canary Islands and that is the cheapest cruise that I have ever done per night. At £117 per night it was superb value. In December 2018 I booked for the Marella Explorer for 2 weeks to the Aegean and Adriatic including flights and the premium all inclusive package. £2700 sounds a lot, but that is all inclusive and the solo premium was only about 35%. I have booked a 1 week cruise with Princess in November 2021. Unfortunately whilst I really like Princess they do not really court the solo traveller. There price is 100% premium but they do offer a captains circle discount which for this cruise will be £130 which is about 7.5%. It does include a further $200 OBC for this cruise, but still not the best value. I reckon that a princess cruise costs a solo traveller about £500 per week over and above a similar P&O. One more thing about P&O, the solo cabins are not always the cheapest. I have found that you can get a standard inside cheaper most of the time, worth comparing prices of cabins and lines! I now use a spreadsheet and include Headline price, Tips, estimated spend aboard, cost to and from ship (fuel, parking, refreshments). The headline price can sometimes look higher, but if drink, tips & flights are included such as the Marella cruise then it can really make a difference to the overall price. Do your homework and you can save a lot!

  10. One of most anoying things , when in solo travelling, is when crew is trying to marry me whit some bitch who is also solo. When I am not intrested to mingle, then sudenly i am bad customer. I am solo by choise. Still i like to eat at restaurant (solo table) or drink my drink in bar. Or listen music in nigthclub.

  11. Considering taking my first solo trip, since my wife passed away. Thanks for the great tips. This narrows down my searches.

  12. That s interesting to know. For the solo cabins, pricing, compared to double occupancy, what is it in comparison. So do I take the sister to save money, or i can leave her at home, or get our own cabins?

  13. When booking on Vavcations-to-go I booked the cheapest cruise inside cabin and the girl who was helping me said I would have to pay the cruise fee for another person but would not be charged the port fees since when I boarded I said ( my daughter) wasn't able to come. So for $619.00×2 I did a 13 day cruise. I have a feeling these new rooms for singles will be smaller and that isn't convenient.

  14. Yet another great vid, Gary! Thanks for the time you put into these. I'm not at the point of cruising solo presently (my wife is much more of a gadfly than I am), so I'll just keep these at the back of my brain for potentially pointing them out to some solo friends. 😀

  15. There is another option. Cruise loyalty, although I am not sure how reliable that is. Yet I do recall RCL passing the their heavily discounted second cruiser rate to lone cruisers. I am not sure if that is temporary though because I haven't looked for in years.

  16. Wha… wait… Sperm stealing?! Now you don’t worry about that cuz it only happens in the movies. However it would be the perfect argument for not paying child support. 🤣

  17. I only cruise solo! Unless I’m cruising with my family, friends, Democrat voters, innocent bystanders, YouTube influencers, cheeky monkeys and furries (google it. It’s a real thing!).

  18. I want to go see beautiful nature and shows and flowboard but I do not want to meet people and socialize. So I'd have to skip a lot of these options.

  19. Gary I am looking for a singles cruise line, have you ever been on one and what did you think of it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  20. I respectfully would like to offer a counter argument to taking anytime dining. I have found that, when I cruise solo on short trips (7 days or less), taking a chance on fixed dining at the same table can lead to a nice "end of day anchor" with a familiar group of people. It doesn't always work out of course but when it does, that nightly familiar company is nice to have even if all you do is share dinner with your table mates. If it doesn't work out, you can always change table or move to anytime.

  21. It can be a bit scary if you're not good at conversing with people in particular on small ships as you can't hide so easily! The dining table bit and being surrounded by couples which would make the buffet area less scary.

  22. Just took an Alaska cruise on Norwegian last August and the solo supplement was 5 dollars on an inside standard cabin. Really nice daily solo meet ups and a wonderful solo travel steward who really took care of us.

  23. When I looked into solo cruising they even charged double port fees, which adds a LOT to the cost of your cruise. I am not about to share a cabin with a stranger… it's not even safe.

  24. Thank you so much for this @Gary Bembridge !! I love to travel and getting to the point of being comfortable traveling and exploring alone. Always wanted to do a cruise as a solo traveller and this info is a great help for me to start planning!!

  25. Found some great deals as a solo passenger in the past but often the single supplement on a single cabin is hugely expensive. What is the point of having these cabins if they charging a massive supplement anyway.

  26. You know how to cruse solo. You don’t. Get a girl friend damn bro. That’s lonely to do that lol. #or bring a friend haha

  27. I've been on 3 cruises and I know I'm no expert, but I DO love my solo cabin space! No way I'll share with strangers, even my friends like getting their own cabin for personal space! And yes, I prefer the bigger ships, more things to do and a better way to just blend in….

  28. Twice I found cabin mates on Cruisemates. It worked out well both times. We got along well enough and had no problem sharing the cabin space/bathroom time, etc. On another note, I do like the smaller ships to get to know people, and by traveling solo, I can also go back to my cabin when I get overwhelmed by the interactions.

  29. Really helpful information. Newly widowed, solo travel is new to me, but I wish to do as many cruises as I can, to various places, without paying more than I have to.
    Thank you for the tips.

  30. Don't they have cabins that someone like me (68 year old male) can share with a fifty somthing drop dead beautiful female sex maniac? 😉 (If i've got to die early? then please let it be with a smile on my face! 😉

  31. Not that many future Couchsurfing hosts here I can tell. Sounds like most people shouldn’t go on a cruise but rather rent a cabin on a deserted island. 😉😂

  32. Sounds like you are confusing solo travel with singles travel. I don't think most solo travelers just want to hang out with other solo travelers. So why the solo traveler lounge, a Solo Traveler Meetup, etc.? I think they just want to have the same cruise experience as travelers who are couples or groups but have a cabin to themselves.

  33. I prefer to go on a cruise alone so I don’t have to share my cabin. I work with the public and I just don’t want to talk to anyone. Silence is golden. Only issue is that these cruise ships have such loud music on the deck that one goes deaf. Queen Mary 2 is the best. None of that. Chamber music is what they offer. Ahhhh.
    Don’t share a cabin with anyone.

  34. Gary: I enjoyed my brief trip (27.11.19 – 01.12.19) to UAE very much! It was very exciting and gourmet! But there were a couple of perplexing moments – situations, which do need attention and investigation and streamlining (the “tourists center”). Travel matters, when travel does go pessimistic and unpredictably sloping downwards. I have decided to share my observations and experiences with Your Travel Channel. If my narrations are out of synch with Your channel, please, delete them. And / or, if possible, pass down to the investigative – detective agency. Veganly Yours, Petr Frizen

  35. Enjoyed info. Just subscribed to your channel. I will scan through your other videos…hopefully you have info on travel insurance. I have never purchased travel insurance, but am considering when I read about a man becoming sick in another country, and being held hostage due to being charged an exuberant price for treatment, and being unable to pay.

  36. First time here , just Subscribe . I am very happy for this information, I Am single and wanted to travel, but I am afraid to go by myself. But now with this information I will feel more safe to do so now, thanks ❤

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